The single main role of a state is to constantly grow the quality of life for the people who make the state exist: the citizens.
Patriotism is bullshit because it is based on genetic factors which are among the most unfair and inhuman factors to consider placing in the foundation of a society or national future. A nation is made of the citizens of a state, not by ethnicity and genetic inheritance. There should really be no “countries”, but states with citizens and nations as groups of citizens of a specific state. Birth rights are over rated.
We build concepts of “peoples” and “countries” based on our initial tribal way of life, but we keep forgetting that in those times we also thought dragons were all over the map. Groups of people who create their whole society based on ethnicity and other genetic features are doing themselves a great disservice: many Arabian people, Hebrew people, gipsy people, countries who give citizenship to children born on that territory but not to parents (jus soli), many greek people, expats who seek “their own kind” and fail to do any service for the country they’re currently in and many, many other groups who act on tribal, genetic, birth lottery indicators to calibrate their future.
Sustenability can only be a national priority when there is common consensus that investment in society is not an expense.
In that sense budgets should incorporate ROI and amortization for every single state investment in the quality of life of its citizens: from education to health. Speaking of which the spectrum of investments a state can make in its citizen’s quality of life ranges from education on the left to health on the right. In between is everything else: infrastructure, security, law preservation (not enforcement, preservation), social assistance, technology and citizen’s wealth management (finances) and so on.
If we want to eradicate poverty we could make it illegal. There are two things that should be considered under that law: people preserving their poverty is a misdemeanor and people promoting others’ poverty a felony.
Poverty can be illegal only in a welfare society. In no sense can such a law work in current systems, not even in welfare states, although these could be prime candidates.
In my opinion basic income is not a good idea. It is not because cash payments to citizens are going to make people less likely to work hard, as some claim oblivious to studies showing the contrary, but because basic income creates inflation by perception. The economy is made of people and when people think there is money to be spent, prices go up. It attempts to fight against natural economic principles of demand, supply and pricing.
If a country is in a position to year over year hand out cash to its population it should use that money to generate social facilities which offer free service instead. Free energy, free food and free housing. And, pay attention, free not costless. It will cost money, the one proposed for basic income projects, to make all that energy, food and housing, but the citizens will not pay for them.
Wars will stop when there will be nothing to conquer. Once you devise a system where the common average life is fulfilling you will have solved global interests for good. The necessity of controlling the whole planet rises from the insatisfaction of average society members.
You require two things to never be in a war: great propaganda and a very high quality of life. There are states who already do it, but still have the problem that the way they increase the quality of life for their citizens is still dependent on the outside, giving rise to meaning in conflict.
We suck at assessing cost of opportunity. They say we know north because we have some iron dust in our nose and that helps us sense the magnetic field of the Earth.
I think we have an opportunity sensor too. And when that kicks in its so very hard to resist it. For example: stock price, job offers, people cheating on their spouses with minor flings — they all see an opportunity and cannot pass by it.
In ancient times opportunities were rare. We developed a huge drive for finding and exploiting them to the maximum and today we’re drowned in all kinds of it and this new situation wreaks havoc in our lives.
For this reason consumer education, citizen education, political education, sex education, economic education, philosophical education are in a society more important for children than most general culture we currently teach. We expect people to grow up and spend their youth catching up on all the above, instead of teaching these and having the energy of youth invested in practical culture.
With the advent of neural networks as a service everybody can make predictions based on behavior and aggregated past data. As a human being if the past belongs to me, then by all means the future does too. If my data is fed into a predictive neural network i should expressly offer my consent and, at the same time, be granted access to see, not by special request but by proactive informative action, the predictions that come out of the network. My future is as personal as my past.
For example if Walmart collects data about my food purchases, combines that data and finds out I may have diabetes or if my underage daughter is pregnant and Target knows that.
Target correctly inferred based on purchasing data that one of its customers — sorry, guests — a teenage girl in Minnesota, was pregnant, based on an arcane formula involving elevated rates of buying unscented lotion, mineral supplements, and cotton balls. Target started sending her coupons for baby gear, much to the consternation of her father, who, with his puny human inferential power, was still in the dark. full article, Slate
Other people already campaign for different data to be available to the rightful owner free of charge too:
Platforms (airBnB, Uber, etc) are currently unfair to society. They claim to be sharing hubs but instead they are small business accelerators. How about taxing platforms for all the efforts that governments would make on their behalf?
Companies should not be able to regulate their industries better than governments. If that is the case, than the government has a problem.
In my opinion platforms should do two things:
- submit data from their systems to government enabled agencies
- pay a platform tax for the government work done in their industry
The government then could have a sharing economy system in place that protects humans from the failure to abide regulations, of any side participating on the platform.
Inheritance easing. It is not humanly fair for people who have done nothing to be entitled to wealth because of ancestry. Heirs are completely overvalued.
Tweaking inheritance is better than taxing the rich. Let people own their success but not their succession.
The main factor responsible for the deepening inequality is inheritance, in particular the extensiveness of it. Lets fix this. Fixing inequality at a high scale means tweaking, not abolishing, not ruthlessly wiping, but tweaking the basic factor that creates it: inheritance. Details following the link:
The state should invest in replicating all things that can be replicated easily. Among these “apps” and “web services” are number one. Why doesn’t every city have its very own official Uber app? Every city should have its own, state owned, Uber App! They are permitting, collecting and licensing already, plus they have the legal means to enroll all taxi drivers with very little effort. Why isn’t there a state wide AirBnB already? Almost any state has the capability to offer a BnB style directory which is public and can possibly protect both hosts and guests much better than private enterprise.
Investment in the digitalization of the state is one of the most ignored branches of budgeting in most local and central governments. But there is nothing more socialist than to replicate successful business that has no patents pending, no special skill set required and it is proven to solve a problem for a huge number of people.
Corporate mental care should be a strong preoccupation of any state. The capitalist system should still be the base economic model even in the best socialist state. This will give rise to corporations. I say that if we consider corporations to be persons, than by all means we should take care of how sane they are. I don’t think, for example, that a corporation which has as a mission to limit access to drinking water so that it creates a market is sane. Do you?
We should care more for the value of lifetime. Throughout history we were very preoccupied to make our life as efficient as possible and efficiency is the key tenant of the existence of corporations, and yet today we must face reality and denounce every single practice that hinders the thriving of humanity, be it in the form of secret government trade agreements or in the form of oligopoly or in the form of price fixing cartels. And keep in mind I am one who thinks planned obsolescence is a good thing.
The welfare society creates a state which is different in its approach towards the citizens. The state created by a welfare society will have an objective led governance. Objectives are national and not politic. Objectives are assumed by the entire governing team, from prime minister to clerk, not only a cabinet of ministers.
The state is far more dynamic in hiring and firing people. No red tape keeps people employed for the state for a lifetime while being under performers. Payment for governance jobs is above market level. Market level is actuated yearly. Work for government positions accrues double benefits in public pensions. For every completed objective there is one extra legal, mandatory holiday day granted that the person working for the state will carry to any subsequent workplace. Lack of objective fulfillment withdraws benefits.
People pay taxes themselves, no tax is held at the source. There is a state built digital interface where each citizen can literally choose what to do with each one of their contribution. There are algorithms distributing surpluses to under sponsored state sectors. People do not contribute to the society, people sponsor society.
Taxes should be severely simplified and be minimal. Currently the income tax is the rent for living in a certain country. This is the taxation for the right to have a nationality. VAT is the tax for being alive. Everything you buy, including water, to survive has VAT in it. Therefore it is taxation for the right to live. The property tax is a sort of tribute you pay to the bigger power so that you can have your own stuff. It is the payment for the right of property. Basically taxation is the price for those human rights a country offers to protect. Sound familiar?
From them all, the solely legitimate one is the net income tax. If we solve the inheritance issue, then there really is no sense in taxing property. Other taxes, especially commercial taxes should not exist in the welfare state. But what should exist is net income tax for corporate citizens indifferent of the business size, of the same percent the people citizens pay. As long as profit is illusory the state should tax income at all levels.
There is more in my state of the welfare society, but it will continue in a future post, with even more socialist ideas as friends.